WSR 06-17-177

DEPARTMENT OF ECOLOGY


[ Filed August 23, 2006, 9:49 a.m. ]


CALL FOR DATA FOR THE 2006 WATER QUALITY ASSESSMENT


The water quality program of the department of ecology (ecology) is seeking public input of water quality data and information for updating Washington's water quality assessment, which includes the Section 303(d) list of impaired waters. This "call for data" will run for at least sixty days, from September 6 - November 7, 2006.

The federal Clean Water Act requires Washington state to periodically prepare a list of all surface waters in the state for which beneficial uses of the water such as for drinking, recreation, aquatic habitat, and industrial use are impaired by pollutants. This list was last prepared in 2004. Ecology is now preparing the 2006 assessment and 303(d) list. Ecology's 2006 assessment will be based on the most recent state water quality standards approved by EPA (WAC [173-]201A, 1997 version) and the state's recently updated assessment policies:

Program Policy 1-11, Chapter 1, Assessment of Water Quality for the Clean Water Act Sections 303(d) and 305(b) Integrated Report and

Program Policy 1-11, Chapter 2, Ensuring Credible Data for Water Quality Management

These revised guidance policies, including a response to comments, are available on ecology's web site at www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/303d/index.html.

The 303(d) list is based on all readily available data from both public and private sources. In addition to data from federal, state, and local government agencies, ecology will also accept data collected by academic institutions, businesses, not-for-profit groups, tribes, quasi-governmental agencies (such as watershed planning councils), and private citizens.

Ecology is seeking new data during this sixty-day "call for data" period. If any data was submitted to ecology for previous 303(d) lists it does not need to be submitted again. Ecology will only use high quality data for the 303(d) assessment. All data submitted must have been collected in accordance with a quality assurance plan. The person submitting the data must document that such a plan was followed, and must provide ecology with a copy of the plan. Data must be representative of the ambient water quality conditions to be useful for assessing the segment.

Water quality data must be submitted into ecology's environmental information management (EIM) data base to be used for the assessment, unless alternate arrangements are made with ecology staff conducting the assessment. Information on EIM is available on ecology's web site at http://www.ecy.wa.gov/eim. Ecology is also providing training workshops to demonstrate the use of EIM for data submittal at the following dates and locations:


Date Location Address Time
9/11 Lacey Department of Ecology

300 Desmond Drive

Headquarters Building

Room 0S-14

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. or

1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

9/12 Seattle North Seattle Community College

9600 College Way North

Education Building

Room 1841A

1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
9/13 Spokane Spokane Falls Community College

3410 West Fort George Wright Drive

Building 18

Room 218

1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
9/14 Yakima Yakima Valley Community College

1015 South 16th Avenue

Building C

Room C230

1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Because space is limited for the EIM training, please contact Sabrina Payne at (360) 407-6157 to reserve a place at your desired location, or send an e-mail to 303d@ecy.wa.gov.

More details about the water quality assessment process, including assistance with submitting data, quality assurance requirements, and training workshop information, can be found at www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/303d/index.html.

The deadline for submitting data is 5:00 p.m., November 7, 2006. Data generated from sample events through June 30, 2006, will be assessed.

The segmentation system for the 2006 assessment will be the same one used in the 1998, 2002 and 2004 assessments. Rivers and streams are segmented by the township, range and section boundaries. Lakes and marine areas are defined by a rectangular grid sized at 45 seconds longitude by 45 seconds latitude (approximately 2,460 feet by 3,650 feet).

To ask any questions about the water quality assessment process or for further assistance in submitting data, please contact Ken Koch, Department of Ecology, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600, phone (360) 407-6782, e-mail 303d@ecy.wa.gov.

Washington State Code Reviser's Office